Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Rick Perry: My Kingdom for a Typewriter?

Bookmark and Share

Perry is the only major presidential candidate to hand write his Statement of Candidacy to the FEC

rickperry10.jpgThe last few weeks have been a tough slog for Rick Perry as he struggles to convince those in some quarters that he has the aptitude to serve as president of the United States.

After bursting onto the presidential scene as a frontrunner in mid-August, Perry was greeted by the end of the month with a high profile "Is Rick Perry Dumb?" expose by Jonathan Martin at POLITICO.

Then, as Perry began shedding support when some of his policy positions on immigration and health immunization became exposed during the three September debates, he did himself no favors to win over the public (or media elites) by relying extensively on clich├ęs as he stumbled through several answers.

And now, a Smart Politics review of paperwork filed with the Federal Election Commission finds that Rick Perry is the only major presidential candidate who chose to fill out his Statement of Candidacy by hand, instead of taking the time to cleanly type it.

As a result, Perry's first act as a presidential candidate was replete with the shortcomings that result from less than perfect penmanship (by either himself or his staff): drifting letters (the "L" in "Republican"), quasi-legible abbreviations ("Bldg"), and inconsistencies (some "I"s that begin words are fully capitalized ("Inc.") while others are not ("Insurance")).

Such slapdash paperwork does not befall the candidacies of Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul, or ex-candidate Tim Pawlenty - all of whom turned in tidily composed typewritten forms to the Commission.

Even cash-strapped candidates who are running their campaigns on shoestring budgets like Gary Johnson and Buddy Roemer (and former candidate Thaddeus McCotter) all managed to break out the typewriter or boot up the computer when filling in this short FEC form.

Then again, Perry actually has a lot of company with his old school chicken-scratch ways.

Of the 238 individuals who have filed a Statement of Candidacy to the FEC through October 5th, 154 of them hand wrote their forms, or 64.7 percent.

Just 84 opted to type their paperwork, or 35.3 percent.

That said, many of those who chose to hand write their forms often drifted off point into the margins and on supplementary pages:

"...My odds of getting elected are as high as 98%." - Vern Leroy Hahn (Hot Springs, Arkansas)

"God will be done on earth as in heaven." - Joan Frances Mary Malone (Washington, D.C.)

So, the question remains: was Perry's decision to hand write his form an intentional man-of-the-people gesture, or is it a symbol of a hastily put together campaign that finds its candidate struggling to be disciplined and communicate effectively in the debates?

One note: Perry did, however, fill out his real birth name on the FEC document: "James R. ("Rick") Perry."

And now, cue the late night talk show jokes of what color crayon a President Perry would use to write an executive order...

Follow Smart Politics on Twitter.

Previous post: Ron Paul Raising Money at Twice the Rate of 2008 Campaign
Next post: Number of 2012 Presidential Candidates Approaches 250

Leave a comment


Remains of the Data

Who Has Won the Most Votes in US Senate Electoral History?

Only three of the Top 10 and nine of the Top 50 vote-getters of all time are currently serving in the chamber.

Political Crumbs

Six for Thirteen

Collin Peterson remarked last month that he is leaning to run for reelection to Minnesota's 7th Congressional District in 2016. If he does and is victorious, he will creep even closer to the top of the list of the longest-serving U.S. Representatives in Minnesota history. The DFL congressman is only the sixth Minnesotan to win at least 13 terms to the U.S. House of the 135 elected to the chamber in state history. Peterson trails 18-term DFLer Jim Oberstar (1975-2011), 16-term Republicans Harold Knutson (1917-1949) and August Andresen (1925-1933; 1935-1958), and 14-term DFLers Martin Sabo (1979-2007) and John Blatnik (1947-1974). Andresen died in office, Sabo and Blatnik retired, and Knutson and Oberstar were defeated at the ballot box in 1948 and 2010 respectively. At 70 years, 7 months, 11 days through Monday, Peterson is currently the ninth oldest Gopher State U.S. Representative in history. DFLer Rick Nolan of the 8th CD is the seventh oldest at 71 years, 1 month, 23 days.


Seeing Red

Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


more POLITICAL CRUMBS

Humphrey School Sites
CSPG
Humphrey New Media Hub

Issues />

<div id=
Abortion
Afghanistan
Budget and taxes
Campaign finances
Crime and punishment
Economy and jobs
Education
Energy
Environment
Foreign affairs
Gender
Health
Housing
Ideology
Immigration
Iraq
Media
Military
Partisanship
Race and ethnicity
Reapportionment
Redistricting
Religion
Sexuality
Sports
Terrorism
Third parties
Transportation
Voting